NASA confirms that the largest comet ever seen is heading towards Earth

Following observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA confirmed that the largest comet ever discovered has a diameter of approximately 85 miles and is now considered the largest comet ever seen.

Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein, two astronomers, made the discovery C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein (BB)) in 2014 using archived Dark Energy Survey images. NASA has officially confirmed that the diameter of the comet's nucleus is 85 miles wide using the Hubble Space Telescope. BB's diameter was previously believed to be between 62 and 124 miles.

The previous record-holding comet C/2002 VQ94, which has an estimated core diameter of 85 miles, has been surpassed, according to the NASA blog, by BB. The comet has been accelerating toward Earth for a million years and, according to the space agency, will not endanger the planet when it makes its closest approach in 2031, when it will pass within a billion miles of it or about the distance between Earth and Saturn.

Consider that the size of BB will be larger than the state of Rhode Island if the entire area is taken into account.

Given how active this object is and how far it is from the Sun, it is very surprising. The paper's lead author, Man-To Hui of the Macau University of Science and Technology in Taipa, Macau, said that although they had a rough idea of the comet's size, they needed the best data to confirm it.

"There are literally thousands of comets that are too faint to observe in the far reaches of the solar system, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that this comet is so bright at such a great distance has led us to believe that "It must be massive. Now we can definitively say that it is," said David Jewitt, professor of planetary science and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and co-author of the new research paper just published in The Astrophysical Journal. Letters.

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